The Federal Government Saturday reiterated its determination to contain the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, just as Enugu becomes the first state in the South-East geo-political zone to be afflicted with the disease.
Speaking in a Radio Nigeria phone-in programme monitored in Enugu, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, assured Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress (APC)- led Federal Government would do its best to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
He said that five additional laboratories where people suspected to have been afflicted with the disease will be tested would be established in different parts of the country in the coming week. This will bring the number of such laboratories to eleven.
He advised Nigerians to strictly observe the stay-at-home order, saying that it would be easier to fight the pandemic if this instruction is adhered to.
“I appeal to Nigerians to preserve themselves, their neighbours and the entire country by observing the stay-at-home order, personal hygiene and social distancing.
“This is a national emergency; we are fighting a deadly war against an unseen enemy, and for now, there is no known cure for coronarirus.
“So, Nigerians should observe whatever measures adopted by the federal and state governments to fight the disease,’ he pleaded.
He said that the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) would next week start sending short message service (sms) to Nigerians on how to protect themselves against the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, Nigeria now has 81 cases of Covid-19, following the announcement of 11 new cases on Friday evening by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, with Enugu state finally joining the list of affected states.
The first suspected case of coronavirus in the state tested negative early this month.
The new cases were announced less than four hours after health authorities’ unveiled five fresh incidents of infections.
“All new cases have mild to moderate symptoms and are currently receiving care,” the NCDC said.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases announced on Friday alone to 16.
This is the highest number of cases announced in a single day since the country confirmed its first case of the deadly virus in February.
That index case, an Italian visiting a cement factory in Ogun state has since recovered, and has been discharged. Two other patients have also been treated and discharged while one death has been recorded.
Meanwhile, Enugu state presented cases for the first time, the NCDC indicated.
The public health agency said on its twitter handle that the new cases announced late Friday were reported in three states, Lagos, Enugu and Edo states.
The NCDC said eight (8) of the new cases were reported in Lagos, two (2) in Enugu and one (1) in Edo State.
“As at 11:55 pm 27th March, there are 81 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Three (3) have been discharged with 1 death,” it said.
A breakdown of cases as reported by states shows that Lagos remains the epicentre for Covid-19 in Nigeria.
By Friday night, Lagos has recorded 52 cases, FCT – 14, Ogun and Oyo States have three (3) cases each, Bauchi, Edo and Enugu now have two cases each, while Ekiti, Osun, and Rivers states have one case each.
Globally, as at midnight on Friday, 39,827 new cases were confirmed bringing the total number of cases to 372,757. About 1722 new deaths were also recorded worldwide, bringing total mortality, as at Friday, to 16, 231.
More cases may be confirmed as the federal and state governments intensified the tracing of people who have been in contacts with infected people.
“A multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at level 3, continues to coordinate the national response activities,” the NCDC added.